A few days ago Griffin pulled a new piece of artwork from his backpack . Beaming, he held a rainbow in front of chest. “Read it!” he boomed. The top band of the bow read, “My Wonderful Dream Is…” In the cloud he wrote “a puppy”. I tried to ignore the word “puppy” and focus on the accurate ROYGBIV-ness of his rainbow, but he wanted to point out specifically what his wonderful dream is.
He has already asked for a puppy several times. He says that whenever he feels sad he thinks it is because he misses our dog, Rosie. I miss her too. She was my first child. We had twelve and a half years together. She taught me what it means to be a mother- that you must care for another being, as Mary Oliver says, as if your life depends on it, and when it’s time to let them go, you must let them go.
It was hard for me to let her go, even when she developed a bone-rattling cough, even when she fainted in the street and needed to be rushed to the doggie ER, even when she looked at me and said, I’m tired, with her eyes after walking just ten or twenty paces from the house.
Eventually I had to let go and while her departure left an empty space in my heart, I am relieved to have taken “Palliative K9 Caregiver” off my list of jobs, while also caring for two human children and doing the rest of life. So when Griffin shared his wonderful dream, I had mixed feelings.
He later told his father, “Mommy said that if I just believe that it will come true, then eventually it will.” He’s right. I did tell him that. I love when my kids really internalize my teachings and then offer them back to me.
The next morning as I ran through Hoboken, the bright sun of early spring warming my face, I listened to Abraham Hicks recount an example of how we manifest our dreams. Abraham’s channel, Ester Hicks has always loved animals, especially cats. But her husband, Jerry, didn’t want a pet. He didn’t want the responsibility or the heartbreak.
For years, every time they encountered a cat Ester would look at Jerry with her puppy dog eyes and he would shake his head, no. Then, one night after they parked their “Superbus” in an RV park for the night, a cat came up to the door and wouldn’t leave them alone. Ester fell in love and Jerry tried to ignore it. But in the middle of the night she heard Jerry outside the RV making cooing noises and spotted him petting the cat.
The next morning the owner of the RV park asked if they wanted to adopt the cat and rather than shaking his head, no, Jerry said that if the cat came back to them in the night they would adopt it. Of course Ester made sure that it did by leaving food out and whispering “Here, kitty, kitty”.
Against what she had been told by the person she loved most, against what she had experienced for several years, against the odds, Ester got her cat- not by ignoring her husband’s wishes, overriding them or pressuring him. She did it by continuing to love cats and to keep dreaming her wonderful dream.
People often ask Eckhart Tolle, the author of A New Earth, How do I go for my dreams and stay in the present moment? He says the moment a dream is recognized inside of you, you have the opportunity to be present with it. It’s not some external thing or some time in the future that you are trying to get to- it’s the experience of having the inspiration, doing the creative work, sharing with the world in someway that brings it from the inside of you to the outside and you can be present in the moment for the entire journey.
Yesterday Griffin pulled out some seeds that we bought this winter at the Butterfly House in St. Louis. I had forgotten all about them, but he was just waiting. “Is it time yet to plant them?” He asked. We read the package, which said to wait until the danger of the last frost has passed before planting them. From there it will be 10-20 days before anything sprouts.
This is exactly what happens with our own wonderful dreams. We may get the packet of seeds, the inspiration, and then tuck it away somewhere and forget about it. Then something awakens in us. We remember and we are inspired. But even then we may have to keep the seeds in the package until the time is right. Eventually the ground of our being will thaw so we can plant the seed, begin to water it and know that even before we see the flowers blooming in the garden, something magical, something that we could never “make” happen is happening just below the surface. Then when they flowers do bloom, the glory of witnessing their beauty and sharing it with others is that much sweeter.
If we are able to stay present and not stop believing in our wonderful dream just because it hasn’t bloomed yet, we will enjoy every moment of creation. Not just the blooming.
What’s your wonderful dream? Is it time to plant the seeds yet? And the biggest question of all, Will Griffin get a puppy? In my estimation it’s still going to be a while until the ground thaws, but as he said, if he just keeps believing, eventually it will happen.